Blogging about life in Minnesota, raising our six kids with Down syndrome while battling Breast Cancer.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning the devil says, "Oh shit! She's up!"

Friday, August 16, 2013

Decisions on Bussing

When we moved here Angela was in 2nd grade. Because the special ed. classroom she attended was not in our neighborhood school, we didn't have an option for her to ride anything other than Special Ed. transportation.

Then Angela moved up to the middle school. She started out on the regular bus but due to some "issues" she was having, I started driving her to school instead. In 8th grade she started back on the regular  bus with her typical peers, which she loved.

Angela continued on the regular ed. bus for 9th and 10th grade. But, at the end of her sophomore year, during the last couple weeks of school, she started making comments about some things that were said by other students on the bus. None of it was serious, at least not what she repeated to me, but it did raise some red flags. I talked to her teacher who talked to the bus driver who had similar concerns and made some changes.

Lets talk about vulnerability a bit. Angela is a 17 year old girl with significant cognitive delays. She rides the bus with near-typical teenage teenagers...lots of them boys. She loves to sit in the back of the bus where the "fun people" sit. Do you see where this could go?

Eventually the school year ended, we moved into summer and I didn't have to think about the bus anymore. But suddenly we're only a couple weeks from school starting. I have huge reservations about sending Angela on the regular ed bus this year. What about her peers from the special ed class? Which bus do they ride? Will she stand out from them if she's riding the special ed bus again?

I asked around. Turns out some of the other parents have had the same fears, only sooner. So, my reservations were validated, and I made the decision to put Angela back on the Special Ed. bus this year. Then I remembered something: Angela could care less what bus she rides to school! As long as A bus shows up to pick her up, she's thrilled.

This year the bus schedule will be awesome! All four kids catch the bus within 5 minutes of one another. We'll be the only house on the street with busses lined up. I think we'll make it the morning coffee stop for the drivers and bus aids. ;-)


Kathy said...

Do people DO that? Be a coffee stop for tranportation? I never once for a minute thought about doing that for PJ's driver.... I wonder should I try this year?
I'm glad it doesnt matter to Angela. A bus is a bus is a bus.

Leah S. said...

Kathy, I have no idea if people do that. LOL Just seems like a fun thing to do since I'll be down at the bus stop anyway! Maybe do it on Fridays or something.

Becca said...

That sounds like a great idea! Glad Angela won't mind the change, and glad you're feeling some relief! Smart move. :-)

Stephanie said...

I have yet to let Owen ride the bus. I'll admit that I'm scared to let him ride it. Something could happen to him at school, but for some reason the things that have happened on buses to kids with SN makes me so afraid. Owen would love to ride the bus, there's no doubt where his allegiance would be! Maybe someday....

I think being the coffee spot would be cool. And you'd hear all the good gossip!

Leah S. said...

Stephanie, one good thing about our district, is all Special Ed busses have an aid. It is far less likely for something bad to happen with two sets of eyes on the bus.